How To Stop Snoring:Cures, Remedies, and Tips for You and Your Partner

Snoring could indicate sleep apnea, a potentially life-threatening condition that medical attention. Sleep apnea is a breathing obstruction, causing the sleeper to keep waking up to begin breathing again. Normal snoring doesn’t interfere with the quality of your sleep as much as sleep apnea, so if you’re suffering from extreme fatigue and sleepiness during the day, your problem may be more than just snoring.
The causes of snoring: Identify the cause to find the cure
People snore for different reasons. When you get to the bottom of why you snore, then you can find the right solutions to a quieter, deeper sleep. Enlist your non-snoring sleep partner to help you keep a sleep diary to monitor your snoring. Observing patterns in your snoring can often help pinpoint the reasons why you snore, what makes it worse, and how to go about stopping your snoring. Enlisting your sleep partner to help in this way can also help demonstrate how serious you are about tackling your snoring problem and the value you place on the relationship...


Common causes of snoring
  • Being overweight or out of shape. Fatty tissue and poor muscle tone contribute to snoring. Even if you’re not overweight in general, carrying excess weight just around your neck or throat can cause snoring. Exercising and losing weight can sometimes be all it takes to end your snoring.
  • Age. As you reach middle age and beyond, your throat becomes narrower, and the muscle tone in your throat decreases. While you can do anything about growing older, lifestyle changes, new bedtime routines, and throat exercises can all help to prevent snoring.
  • The way you’re built. Men have narrower air passages than women and are more likely to snore. A narrow throat, a cleft palate, enlarged adenoids, and other physical attributes that contribute to snoring are often hereditary. Again, while you have no control over your build or gender, you can control your snoring with the right lifestyle changes, bedtime routines, and throat exercises.
  • Nasal and sinus problems. Blocked airways or a stuffy nose make inhalation difficult and create a vacuum in the throat, leading to snoring.
  • Alcohol, smoking, and medications. Alcohol intake, smoking, and certain medications, such as tranquilizers like lorazepam (Ativan) and diazepam (Valium), can increase muscle relaxation leading to more snoring.
  • Sleep posture. Sleeping flat on your back causes the flesh of your throat to relax and block the airway. Changing your sleep position can help.
How you snore reveals why you snore
It’s important to note the different ways you sleep and snore.
  • Closed-mouth snoring may indicate a problem with your tongue.
  • Open-mouth snoring may be related to the tissues in your throat.
  • Snoring when sleeping on your back is probably mild snoring—improved sleep habits and lifestyle changes may be effective cures.
  • Snoring in all sleep positions can mean your snoring is more severe and may require a more comprehensive treatment.
Self-help cures to stop snoring
There are so many bizarre anti-snoring devices available on the market today, with more being added all the time, that finding the right solution for your snoring can seem like a daunting task. Unfortunately, many of these devices are not backed up by research, or they work by simply keeping you awake at night. There are, however, plenty of proven techniques that can help eliminate snoring. Not every remedy is right for every person, though, so it may require some patience, some lifestyle changes, and a willingness to experiment with different solutions.

Lifestyle changes to stop snoring
  • Lose weight. If you’re overweight, dropping even a few pounds can reduce fatty tissue in the back of the throat and decrease or even stop snoring. 
  • Exercise can also help to stop snoring. As well aiding weight loss, exercising your arms, legs, and abs, for example, also leads to toning the muscles in your throat, which in turn can lead to less snoring. There are also specific exercises you can do to strengthen the muscles in your throat (see below).
  • Quit smoking. Quitting is easier said than done, but smoking irritates the membranes in the nose and throat which can block the airways and cause snoring. Get help with quitting here.
  • Avoid alcohol, sleeping pills, and sedatives because they relax the muscles in the throat and interfere with breathing. Talk to your doctor about any prescription medications you’re taking, as some encourage a deeper level of sleep which can make snoring worse.
  • Establish regular sleep patterns. Create a healthy bedtime ritual with your partner and stick to it. Hitting the sack in a routine way together can help you sleep better and often minimize snoring.
Bedtime remedies to help you stop snoring
  • Clear nasal passages. If you have a stuffy nose, rinse sinuses with saline before bed. Using a Neti pot, nasal decongestant, or nasal strips can also help you breathe more easily while sleeping. If you have allergies, reduce dust mites and pet dander in your bedroom or use an allergy medication.
  • Keep bedroom air moist. Dry air can irritate membranes in the nose and throat, so if swollen nasal tissues are the problem, a humidifier may help.
  • Change your sleeping position. Elevating your head four inches may ease breathing and encourage your tongue and jaw to move forward. There are specially designed pillows available to help prevent snoring by making sure your neck muscles are not crimped.
  • Sleep on your side instead of your back. Try attaching a tennis ball to the back of a pajama top or T-shirt. (You can sew a sock to the back of your top then put a tennis ball inside.) If you roll over onto your back, the discomfort of the tennis ball will cause you to turn back onto your side. Alternatively, wedge a pillow stuffed with tennis balls behind your back. After a while, sleeping on your side will become a habit and you can dispense with the tennis balls.
  • Try an anti-snoring mouth appliance. These devices often resemble an athlete’s mouth guard and help open your airway by bringing your lower jaw and/or your tongue forward during sleep. While a dentist-made appliance can be expensive, cheaper do-it-yourself kits are also available.
Throat exercises to stop snoring
Practiced daily, throat exercises can strengthen muscles in the upper respiratory tract and be an effective way to reduce or stop snoring.
Try the following exercises to stop snoring. Start slow and gradually increase the number of sets you do. In some cases, you may be able to combine the exercises with other activities, such as commuting to work, housework, walking your dog, or taking a shower.
  • Repeat each vowel (a-e-i-o-u) out loud for three minutes a few times a day.
  • Place the tip of your tongue behind your top front teeth. Slide your tongue backwards for three minutes a day.
  • Close your mouth and purse your lips. Hold for 30 seconds.
  • With mouth open, move jaw to the right and hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on left side.
  • With mouth open, contract the muscle at the back of your throat repeatedly for 30 seconds. Tip: Look in the mirror to see the uvula (“the hanging ball”) move up and down.
Medical cures and treatments for snoring
If you’ve tried the self-help solutions to stop snoring without success, don’t give up hope. Medical cures and treatments could make all the difference. New advances in the treatment of snoring are being made all the time and the various devices available to stop snoring are becoming more and more effective and comfortable. So even if your doctor recommends something that in the past you found to be uncomfortable or ineffective, that doesn’t mean the same will be true now.
Medical cures for snoring
If your own efforts to stop snoring do not help, consult your physician or an otolaryngologist (an ear, nose, and throat doctor, otherwise known as an ENT). He or she may recommend a medical device or surgical procedure such as:
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP). To keep your airway open during sleep, a machine at your bedside blows pressurized air into a mask that you wear over your nose or face.
  • Traditional surgery such as Uvulo palate pharyngo plasty (UPPP), Thermal Ablation Palatoplasty (TAP), tonsillectomy, and adenoidectomy, increase the size of your airway by surgically removing tissues or correcting abnormalities.
  • Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP) uses a laser to shorten the uvula (the hanging soft tissue at the back of the throat) and to make small cuts in the soft palate either side. As the cuts heal, the surrounding tissues stiffen to prevent the vibrations that trigger snoring.
  • Palatal implants or the Pillar procedure involves inserting small plastic implants into the soft palate which help prevent collapse of the soft palate that can cause snoring.
  • Somnoplasty uses low levels of radiofrequency heat to remove tissues of the uvula and soft palate that vibrate during snoring. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia and takes about 30 minutes.

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